When single mother Carrie Smedley tragically died, the lives of her three sons were turned upside down – and they were left grieving in a cramped house with no somewhere behind
Ruben (17), Jaden (11) and Uche (10) were orphans in April 2017 in the most heartbreaking circumstances.
And it was the youngest who first made a devastating discovery that would turn her life upside down.
Single mother Carrie Smedley tragically died suddenly in her sleep at the age of only 32.
It was her youngest son Uche, then only six years old, who found Carrie and tried heartbreakingly to wake her up.
“It was actually Uche who found her, he was six. He and Jaden just thought they couldn’t wake mom, “explains Grandmother Lynn.
While the younger boys were too young to understand what had happened, the eldest brother, Ruben, realized that their mother had died and protected his younger siblings.
Ruben, whom Lynn describes as a “little protector”, brought his brothers to a family relative
“They got their big brother Ruben, he came upstairs and realized what had happened. So that these two little boys had to find their mother like that, “says Lynn.
“Ruben, who was then 13 years old, went straight to my mother, who lives less than five minutes away.
“You will never forget that you cannot wake her, and Reuben will never forget that you cannot save her. I knew I had to do something for these guys. You are my priority now. ”
Grandparents Lynn and Steve Smedley looked forward to retirement after dedicating their lives to giving vulnerable children a second chance in life.
The couple have raised more than 100 children for over 15 years, from premature babies with cerebal palsy to teenage mothers.
They had planned to retreat to their bungalow in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, together before the devastating tragedy occurred.
Lynn was at work when Steve called to say he was coming to see her and revealed that her daughter had died.
Traumatized Lynn went straight to Carrie’s house and then picked up her grandchildren with no chance of them living anywhere else.
When their grandson’s life was shattered, Lynn and Steve took care of the boys and they became a close family unit.
However, they were forced to live in a two-bedroom bungalow on top of each other, which created “added stress”.
The boys were pushed into a single room and slept in a triple bunk bed – which meant they had no space to themselves to enjoy alone or to grieve for their mother.
The brave Ruben even offered to find another apartment so that his grandparents would not bear the burden, but they had no doubt that he would stay.
Ruben admitted that he regretted not spending much time with his mother when he was a teenager.
“When I turned 13, I never got out of my bedroom. I regret that I was never allowed to spend time with my mother, “he tells host Nick Knowles during an emotional chat.
“I will never forget her because she is my mother, but I try to think about the good times. I never really think it’s just about me or my brothers. It’s about everyone. It’s about my Nan and Grandpa and only about the family. “
Rubens younger brothers say they love him because he stands up for them and is always there for support.
Lynn even offered Ruben her own bedroom in the evenings so that he could have some time for his little brothers.
There weren’t any better candidates for the DIY SOS team to save 2019.
There was a mixture of emotions when Lynn got the call to reveal that she would be on the show.
She was thrilled that it would make her whole life a lot easier, but it also felt like confirmation that Carrie wasn’t coming back.
“When I got the call it was amazing, I was so delighted. I thought how much easier life will be, “she tells Nick.
“And then I thought, do I want it? I want this because I want Carrie. It’s a confirmation that she’s not coming back. It was like a stone hit me. “
Nick and the team came to transform their home with the help of a “Cornish Army”. .
The big construction was made possible with the help of many friendly volunteers from the region, who donated their time, expertise and building materials.
The house was completely gutted and an extension was built so the boys could have their own bedrooms while their grandparents got their own bathroom.
The family couldn’t even eat together before, but got a new spacious kitchen and a dining area with banquet chairs.
One of the boys gets a double bed in his Cornish-style room, which also has a desk and a surfboard on the wall.
While the garden has been turned into a huge social space with a terrace, wooden dining furniture and a barbecue.
A memorial garden was laid out so the boys could find a quiet place where they could remember happy memories of their mother.
There are also 103 ornamental butterflies to represent each of Lynne and Steve’s foster children, plus a special one for Carrie.
Feeling like she was in a fairy tale, Lynn led her to the converted house and was overwhelmed by the sea of volunteers who had helped.
Speaking to the volunteers after the reveal, Lynn says, “When we realized we’d lost Carrie, we were devastated. Nothing can prepare you to lose a child.
‘But our first instinct was to protect the boys. There was no hesitation that the boys would come and live with us, then reality hit.
‘It was extremely difficult at times, no privacy or space, no time to grieve. But the boys come first. We can now go forward and build our lives. “
He told Cornwall Live, “I think the fact that there is more space is going to be very emotional for them because it takes a lot of weight off them, but it doesn’t solve all of the problems for the family because they do have to do. “Loss and a lifetime for the children to grow up without their mother. “
DIY SOS, Nick Knowles, Carbis Bay
News – UK – DIY SOS tragedy when orphans discovered their mother had died before another gruesome twist